Sunday, 11 April 2010

Things I Do When I Should Be Doing Something Else

  1. Check my pockets for loose change
  2. Bake cakes
  3. Make jam
  4. Make chutney (It's all been inedible so has been given up as a bad job.)
  5. Read novels
  6. Read poetry
  7. Visit bookshops
  8. Play chess
  9. Play online Scrabble (Abandoned as it Got Out of Hand.)
  10. Play with my virtual fish. Singular.  (Don't ask.)
  11. Get cross with the Daily Mail
  12. Fire off emails to the Daily Mail
  13. Wash windows
  14. Pull up dandelions
  15. Groom my eyebrows
  16. Rearrange my notebook collection
  17. Stroke the pure, virgin paper in my notebook collection
  18. Daydream
  19. Drink coffee
  20. Dust the bookshelves
  21. Paint my toenails
  22. Write lists
  23. Walk round the park
  24. Stare at the river
  25. Witter
  26. Trawl Facebook
  27. Do Sudoku puzzles
  28. Make bread
  29. Listen to BBC Radio 4
  30. Doodle
  31. Ink in all the Os in the newspaper headlines
  32. Despair at Disgruntled Poets
  33. Debate with Disgruntled Poets (Argue with an idiot and a spectator won't be able to tell the difference.)
  34. Search for quotations by P.G. Wodehouse and Mark Twain
  35. Despair that I never have and likely never will say anything as clever (see above).
  36. Wonder at the idiosyncracies of antique glass
  37. Consider the clouds
  38. Chop vegetables
  39. Make soup
  40. Be distracted by dictionaries, looking for the word that I thought I'd remember but have forgotten when I was looking for another word which meant something else entirely
  41. Roam Blogger
  42. Dehead Lady Penelope
  43. Think about what I really ought to be doing
  44. Be overwhelmed with guilt
  45. Sigh loudly
  46. Lie down
  47. Stare at the cracks in the ceiling
  48. Calculate how little time I have left to do the thing I ought to be doing
  49. Play Winner Takes it All on the piano. (Badly.)
  50. Pick up my pen, put it down again. Google recipes for quince.


  1. Avoidance can be such hard work...

  2. I'm wondering what #48 refers to, really.

    Truly useful things, for which you should not castigate yourself, are:
    Nos. 2-8, the reaction to 9, 13-16 (17 being a sensual pleasure and necessary in its own way)
    18 (Unavoidable, if you ask me) 19 (more healthily replaced by green tea but nothing wrong with the activity, per se), 23, 24 (closely related to 18). Jumping ahead now to 31 (the only real sign of serious mental idleness), 35 (an utter, and I do mean utter waste of time and flagr.., no PATENtly untrue) 40 (you're not alone, m'dear) 44 (here I refer you to the plethora of self-help books to be found doing 7, or even 20) but 46 is a dangerous thing indeed if 48 really bothers you. Time spent doing 49 is, in my ex-piano teacher's view, more appropriately called 'practice' or could even seen as beneficial in much the same way as 6 or even 27, and most definitely should not involve 44. As for the first part of 50, you gave us this, didn't you?

    What does one do with quince, whatever it is?

  3. I'm with you in all points except for the two relating to the Daily Mail; unless you need to professionally, why would you read TDM; if you didn't, you wouldn't need to get cross and you'd save letter writing time and paper, plus a stamp.

    Would you like to become a fridge soup cook. Email me and I'll send you an invitation. You'd be perfect.

  4. @ Jinksy - yes, I'm utterly, utterly spent!

    @ Deborah - your response is more entertaining than my original list

    @ Friko - I am very flattered but fear I would spend even MORE time procrastinating (which is was TDM is about TBH).

  5. You'll enjoy wasting another 5 minutes reading this then - courtesy of one of my twitter feeds
    1949 essay on the subtle art of procrastination:
    Though do try to avoid twitter addiction. No good can come of it...

  6. Invisible Woman - thank you. That was delightful.

    You're right, I know my own limitations and am avoiding Twitter even though Broken Biro is trying to lure me into the path of temptation.

    I have also avoided eBay, given up a poetic forum (Disgruntled poets are Hard Work), and trawling second hand bookshops online.

  7. Drop the Mail too (from a great height - possibly onto a Disgruntled Poet) for no good will come of reading it. But I can't criticise. On Friday I sorted an extensive range of recently-acquired packet soup into alphabetical order and I've just been... oh never mind.

  8. Asparagus, Borscht, Carrot & Coriander, Cockaleekie - sorry, have to stop there. That last one always makes me laugh.

  9. Hey, Moptop! Do as Friko tells you, otherwise there'll be big trouble. She's scary. Come and dive into the Fridge Soup.